FAMILIES are being invited to step into a fun and romantic fortnight during February by taking part in some of the special events being staged by the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The trust is organising two special weeks, which aim to brighten these winter days. One focuses on romance and Valentine’s Day while the other is a week of special events for school half-term.

Its Valentine’s week goes from Wednesday February 7 until Wednesday February 14 and visitors can take a romantic stroll through Hall’s Croft’s magical walled garden and add a special Valentine’s message to the tree of love in the parlour.

There will be live performances from the trust’s in house acting troupe Shakespeare Aloud at the Bard’s birthplace. The troupe will, of course, be performing Shakespeare’s most romantic play of love and tragedy – Romeo and Juliet.

Families can also follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps by walking to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – a journey he made when wooing his bride. They can follow the riddles and post their messages in the Love Post Box. The most romantic messages will be posted on twitter and displayed in the cottage’s visitor centre.

The half term break has plenty to offer children and their parents. The activities run from Friday February 16 until Sunday February 25 in the Shakespeare family homes.

Visitors can learn the trade of William Shakespeare’s father John – one of his many roles was that of glovemaker – and also hear some of the grizzly tales of the Jacobean surgeon and discover how the Hathaways came to watch the magical shadow puppet show.

It’s leather week at Shakespeare’s Birthplace during half term. People can discover the working world of William’s father John Shakespeare by stepping into the workshop and, with the help of our in house experts, have a go at stretching and working leather just as Shakespeare’s father would have. Find out about how the Shakespeares lived and what life was like in Stratford over 450 years ago.

At Shakespeare’s New Place, visitors can discover the magical story of A Midsummers Night Dream. They can play in the shadow puppet theatre and find out more about the characters from Shakespeare’s most spellbinding play. There is also the sculpture trail to enjoy by following the unique artworks throughout the stunning gardens of New Place.

On Saturday February 24 from 12pm-4pm visitors can join the Live’n History team at Hall’s Croft for a lesson on Jacobean medicine. Discover what strange and wonderful ingredients the Jacobean’s believed would cure their colds and find out how Shakespeare’s daughter helped her physician husband John Hall in the herbal garden.

Anyone with an ear for music can listen to and learn about Tudor music and the instruments of the age on February 18 and 24.

Ruth Warner, head of visitor experience at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said: “There’s lots of fun to be had at the Shakespeare family homes this Valentine’s Day and February half term.

“Our fantastic events cater to historians young and old, whether you want to try your hand in the Shakespeare’s family glove workshop or become a puppet master- there’s something for everyone.”